Grad School Spotlight – Joseph Diaz

Eller PDC Coordinator Alumni Stories

Joseph Diaz is an Eller alumnus who graduated in 2011.  He majored in Business Administration and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Arizona.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I decided to go to graduate school because I needed to increase my skills to remain competitive in the work force. With almost 10 years of Leadership experience, I witnessed firsthand through my peers, the value of what a graduate degree provides. My peers that earned an advanced degree developed great ideas, communicated effectively, encouraged cooperation and generally performed at a higher standard. Their stories and experiences definitely encouraged me to go back to school. Earning my MBA will enable me return to the work force in a more competitive manner.

What was the preparation and application process like?

I applied to Eller’s Full Time MBA program while working full time in South Korea. During the application process I would typically spend about an hour after work completing steps for application. If I had questions, I would send them an email. Eller’s staff were incredibly responsive. I remember the excitement I had working through the process, Eller’s staff took the time to provide feedback and even conducted a zoom rehearsal with me. However, what stood out to me was the ambassador that Eller had supporting me. The ambassador was a 2nd year MBA student and quickly made me feel welcome, providing tips, encouragement and support. While working full time in another country the Eller’s ambassador made the experience a positive one.

What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding?

The most challenging part of my MBA experience has been revisiting my math skills after almost 10 years. What has surprised me is how quickly my math skills have returned. After about 7 weeks I feel like I haven’t skipped a beat and I am solving problems with confidence. This program has required effort, working through a virtual medium is new. I am surprised how effective it has been and within a short period of time I have met some great people. Although I haven’t met them in person I have spent countless hours working with them on zoom. I absolutely can’t wait until I get to meet them in person and to me this will be the most rewarding aspect of my term. I can’t stress how amazing the people in the program and members of the Eller’s Staff are.    

What do you hope to do after you complete the program?

At this point I am not quiet sure what I want to do after the program. However, Eller’s Staff and Professional Development team have worked with me to develop skills to find a great career. I am currently exploring industries to work in. The best thing about this program is that I am encouraged to research industries to find one that I will be a great fit for. The Professional Development team has done a great job introducing me to alumni of the program. Eller’s Alumni have been extremely helpful and take their time to talk about their experiences. These are little thing that make a big difference.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree?

I would encourage students to take action, apply to the program. I know there every student has a different set of circumstances but the Staff at Eller are dedicated to assisting individuals at finding solutions to unique situations. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, I have been challenged every week in this program but I have not had to do it alone. Through the challenges I have grown, learned so much and made some incredible new friends.